Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Tea Gardens

During the past few days, the temperatures have risen, the sun has brightened, and I find that if I don't put a thick layer of sunblock on, I'll get a sunburn. Of course, it is my usual intent to go outside "just for a minute" to see if everything is OK. Recently, these dashes into the garden have resulted in more and more time spent in the sun. There is always "just one little thing" that can be done before I dash inside for sunglasses and a hat.
This weekend I have spent quite a bit of time in the backyard, transplanting seedlings, getting new containers filled with new soils, trimming dead winter leaves and dividing the mint plants and dealing with compost. I started a dozen varieties of basil, plus summer savory and hyssop. Almost every planting pot I emptied contained a sprouting coast live oak acorn. The squirrels sure have been busy.
I have started a "tea garden" in an old recycled plastic tote. Since the container is fairly shallow, it will only work for plants that don't need to grow too deeply, like all the mints. When the new plants are established, I will drag the container to a shady spot for the summer. My vision is to have a few of these containers perched along some old steps in a remote and shady part of the garden. I have four kinds of mint and some lemon balm.
I have another "tea garden" tucked under an old olive tree. I just added a new layer into a new worm bin, and harvested the "tea" underneath. I just hope I didn't kill my worms. The bin was full of water after last week's rain, and I didn't see much evidence of worms. I added several new worms just in case.

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